16 celebrities who have come out as LGBTQ in 2021

·12 min read
Emma Corrin
Emma Corrin. Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP
  • Celebrities have come out to their fans in heartfelt social media posts and interviews this year.

  • "American Idol" alum David Archuleta, who is Mormon, came out publicly during Pride Month.

  • Tommy Dorfman, from "13 Reasons Why," came out as transgender in July.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

In January, pop star JoJo Siwa came out as queer in a viral TikTok video.

jojo siwa
JoJo Siwa. Amy Sussman/Invision/AP

JoJo Siwa — the "Dance Moms" breakout star who turned into a teenage pop star — posted a video of herself dancing to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" on TikTok in late January. The 17-year-old followed the video up with a photo on Twitter in which she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever."

Siwa later said her girlfriend, Kylie Prew, inspired her to officially come out to her fans after they met on a cruise ship.

"I like queer," Siwa told People in April. "Technically I would say that I am pansexual because that's how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human."

In February, Country music star T.J. Osborne announced he is gay.

tj osborne
T.J. Osborne. Terry Wyatt / Getty

T.J. Osborne is the lead vocalist in the country music group Brothers Osborne, which he formed with his brother. Osborne told Time magazine in February that he is gay and has known for years, but he kept it a secret because of country music's mostly conservative fan base.

"People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," Osborne told Time in February. "But for me to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, cool!'"

In March, Demi Lovato came out as pansexual.

Demi Lovato has been public about her eating issues for years.
Demi Lovato. C Flanigan/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Demi Lovato has been very open about their private life, including their sexuality, but in March, they revealed they are pansexual. In May, Lovato came out as nonbinary and said they use they/them pronouns.

During an interview on "The Joe Rogan Experience" in March, Lovato talked about their fluid attraction.

"I also don't know if I'm going to end up with a guy, so I can't really see myself maybe getting pregnant," Lovato said. "I'm so fluid now — and a part of the reason why I am so fluid is because I was super closed off."

When Rogan followed up asking if pansexual was the right term to use, Lovato said, "Yeah, pansexual."

During an Instagram Live in April, Kehlani came out as a lesbian.

Kehlani
Kehlani. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Kehlani has long been a queer icon, coming out as pansexual in the past and using she/they pronouns. This year, though, the singer announced on a friend's Instagram Live that she identifies as a lesbian.

"You wanna know what's new about me? I finally know I'm a lesbian," she said.

In an interview with Advocate, Kehlani explained that coming out isn't easy for every artist.

"I have a lot of privilege," Kehlani told the publication in April. "I think a lot of artists who we talk about and say, 'Oh, they had to come out or they had to do this,' a lot of them can't hide it. A lot of it is very [much] in how they present. It's tougher for trans artists. It's tougher for Black gay men. It's tougher for Black masculine gay women."

Star of "9-1-1: Lone Star" Ronen Rubinstein came out as bisexual in April.

ronen rubinstein
Ronen Rubinstein. FOX / Getty

Ronen Rubinstein's gay character on "9-1-1: Lone Star" helped him get comfortable with his own sexuality. After realizing that the fans and his family accepted his character, Rubinstein came out to Variety.

"I fully identify as bisexual," Rubinstein told the publication in April. "I literally just got goosebumps saying that. It feels so good to talk about it, it feels so good to finally be comfortable with it."

He went on to explain that his current girlfriend helped him confront his sexuality and helped him with the coming out process.

"I want people to know that this is a hopeful and a happy story," he told Variety. "I want people to know that they're not alone and it's definitely okay. Trust me, I know that it is not easy. My path has not been easy at all, but it's just one more thing that I can share with people to help them and let them know that I'm here for them."

In April, YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous came out as pansexual.

Gigi Gorgeous
Gigi Gorgeous. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Gigi Gorgeous is no stranger to coming out.

"I came out as gay before I transitioned. I came out as transgender and then I came out as gay again," she said in a YouTube video in April. "Honestly, those are some of, if not my best, favorite memories. Searching deep within myself, finding out something different and putting a label on it."

Now, she has come out as pansexual, which she describes as "falling love with the soul of somebody."

"I think that that's one of the most beautiful things ever," she said. "It's profound and amazing to me. When I finally clicked with it and felt it ... it was definitely a light bulb moment."

Former "Bachelor" star Colton Underwood came out as gay on "Good Morning America."

Colton Underwood
Colton Underwood. Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Underwood came out to Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" in April after previously denying his sexuality to the public.

"I've ran from myself for a long time. I've hated myself for a long time," Underwood said on the show. "And I'm gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know."

He explained he's known since he was a teenager but prayed he would be straight. Underwood said there were even moments he had suicidal thoughts prior to coming out.

In 2019, Underwood started dating Cassie Rudolph from his season of "The Bachelor," and the pair broke things off in 2020 after Rudolph filed and then dropped a restraining order against the reality star. Underwood told Roberts that he did love Rudolph but wishes he could have "been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."

"I'm still the same Colton everybody met on TV. I'm still the same Colton to my friends and my family, I just happen to be able to share with people now all of me," he said. "And I am proud of that, you know? I am proud to be gay."

Joshua Bassett, from "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," said in May he is "figuring out" his sexuality.

joshua bassett 2019
Joshua Bassett. Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP

Bassett became even more popular this year as the rumored subject of Olivia Rodrigo's hit song "Driver's License." He made headlines again in May when he mentioned how he's attracted to Harry Styles in a video interview with Clever News. He followed up his comment with, "I guess this is also my coming out video."

Shortly after, Bassett released a statement on Twitter, writing, "Love who you love shamelessly. It's ok to still be figuring out who you are."

He ended his statement with the words, "I choose love."

His costar, Larry Saperstein, came out as bisexual in June.

Larry Saperstein
Saperstein. Emma McIntyre/WireImage via Getty Images

Saperstein, who plays Big Red in "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," revealed he is bisexual in a TikTok video shared on June 1, the start of Pride Month.

The video shows Saperstein's face on camera with the words "Plays a character with a girlfriend on TV" across the screen. The text then changes to "Is bi irl."

He captioned the video, "Is it really that unexpected tho #pride."

"X-Men: Apocalypse" and "Love, Simon" star Alexandra Shipp came out publicly during Pride Month.

Alexandra Shipp
Alexandra Shipp in 2020. Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images via Getty Images

Shipp, who is best known for playing Storm in the X-Men franchise, came out as a member of the LGBTQ community in a heartfelt post on Instagram on June 1.

"I didn't come out until I was 28," wrote Shipp, now 29. "Though I don't believe in regrets, this would definitely be #1 for myself. I denied denied denied. I struggled with not only my sexuality, but my femininity. I was scared it was too late. I was scared I wasn't going to be able to get work. I was scared no one would ever love me. Scared. Scared. Scared."

But she said that constant worry was "exhausting."

She continued, "I'm not denying anything anymore. I'm not scared anymore. I have #pride in who I am and what I'm doing on this planet. I am myself and I love LOVE. Sure, we get a month. But for the past 3 years and for the rest of my life, I'll be celebrating every day. Because I choose me."

Actor Kaylee Bryant wrote on her social media pages on June 1: "My name is Kaylee and I'm queer!"

Kaylee Bryant
Bryant in 2020. Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Bryant, who plays Josie on The CW's "Legacies," shared the message on Twitter and Instagram alongside a photo showing her waving a rainbow flag and wearing a T-shirt that says, "Be the bold queer you needed to see in your youth."

"Happy Pride Month," she added.

Former "American Idol" contestant David Archuleta also came out as a member of the LGBTQ community during Pride Month.

David Archuleta
David Archuleta. John Wolfsohn/Getty Images

In June, Archuleta, the "American Idol" runner-up from season 7 in 2008, took to Instagram to talk about being queer and religious for the first time publicly.

"I came out in 2014 as gay to my family," he wrote in the post. "But then I had similar feelings for both genders so maybe a spectrum of bisexual. Then I also have learned I don't have too much sexual desires and urges as most people."

Archuleta, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said his sexuality shouldn't be a problem for religious communities.

"I think we can do better as people of faith and Christians, including Latter-day Saints, to listen more to the wrestle between being LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith," he wrote. "There are more than you may realize going through that wrestle after all the misunderstandings that come with it. I don't think it should come down to feeling you have to accept one or the other."

Carl Nassib became the first openly gay man in the NFL after coming out this June.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib.
Carl Nassib. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib came out as gay in a video posted to his Instagram during Pride Month.

"I just want to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay," Nassib said in the video. "I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that like one day videos like this and the whole coming-out process are just not necessary, but until then I'm going to do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that's accepting, that's compassionate."

In the video, he said he donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project, an organization that focuses on suicide prevention in LGBTQ youth, after he struggled with his sexuality for 15 years.

Nassib's coming out is historic as he is now the first openly gay man to actively play in the NFL.

Tommy Dorfman came out as a transgender woman who uses she/her pronouns.

Tommy Dorfman in blue hat, blue lipstick, and blue ensemble
Tommy Dorfman. Kirstin Sinclair / Getty

Dorfman starred in Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" and became a breakout social media star. In July, she came out as trans on her Instagram and in Time magazine.

"Thrilled to reintroduce myself as the woman I am today," Dorfman wrote. "My pronouns are she/her."

She went on to thank the trans people who paved the way for her.

"I'm especially grateful to every single trans person who walked this path, broke down barriers, and risked their lives to live authentically and radically as themselves before me," she wrote. "Thank you to all the trans woman that showed me who I am, how to live, celebrate myself, and take up space in this world."

Hockey player Luke Prokop came out as gay on social media in July, becoming the first openly gay player in the NHL.

Luke Prokop smiling at a hockey game in all his gear
Luke Prokop is the first openly gay player in the NHL. Marissa Baecker / Getty

Prokop, a prospect for the Nashville Predators, wrote he is "proud to publicly tell everyone that I'm gay" in an Instagram post.

He continued, writing, "From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams."

Prokop has become the first player in the NHL under contract to openly come out.

"The Nashville Predators organization is proud of Luke for the courage he is displaying in coming out today and we will support him unequivocally in the days, weeks, and years to come as he continues to develop as a prospect," the Nashville Predators team tweeted.

In August, Emma Corrin spoke out for the first time about coming out as queer.

Emma Corrin
Emma Corrin. Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Earlier this year, Corrin mentioned she is queer in an Instagram caption. She also updated her pronouns on social media to "she/they."

In August, she talked with ITV for the first time about her sexuality and gender identity.

"I wasn't sure whether it was the right thing to do but the feedback from the people in the queer community has been wonderful," Corrin said about coming out.

"The Crown" actor continued, "I think visibility is key with these things. My journey has been a long one and has still got a long way to go. I think we are so used to defining ourselves. That's the way society works within these binaries and it's taken me a long time to realize that I exist somewhere in between, and I'm still not sure where that is yet."

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